The Ramifications of a License Suspension
Within the state of Florida, there are numerous reasons why a state agency or the courts may suspend your privilege to drive. When this occurs, it can create a heavy burden, affecting your ability to work, take care of your family and perform various daily duties. A suspended license can upset your entire life, especially if you live in an area where public transportation is limited.
A recent article in the Miami Herald discusses the burden that can follow a license suspension. In addition to the inconvenience of the situation, you may also face ever mounting fees and criminal charges. The article features a man who received a speeding ticket in 2009. The court suspended his license when the ticket was not paid. Additional tickets, fines and fees accumulated to a debt of more than $1500. His limited income keeps him from paying the debt and ensures the continuous suspension of his license.
The many reasons for a suspension of driving privileges include:
- Failure to pay the fine for a traffic offense, whether you received the ticket or not;
- Failure to adequately complete a mandated driving school course;
- Failure to maintain adequate vehicle insurance;
- Accumulation of too many driving points;
- Failure to provide proof of insurance and or a valid registration to the clerk of court;
- Failure to pay child support;
- Failure to comply with a court order; and
- Failure to appear for court.
In addition to these reasons, your license may also be suspended as a mandatory or collateral punishment for certain offenses, including:
- Eluding law enforcement;
- DUI arrest;
- Use of a vehicle in prostitution; or
- Stealing gas from a gas station.
The Prevalence of Suspended Drivers in Florida
According to the article, 29% of Florida drivers are unlicensed, which accounts for about 550,000 individuals. More than 75% of these occurrences are the result of unpaid fines and court costs. The cycle is particularly crippling for individuals who cannot afford to pay these penalties. The result is more tickets, larger fines and even incarceration. Even after the fines are paid, the state charges a reinstatement fee that can range from $60 to $500. According to the Miami Herald article, the state of Florida collected more than $8 million from license suspension related costs.
Saving Your License
Getting your license reinstated can prove challenging, especially if significant fines and fees are involved. In some cases, an individual can petition for a conditional license, which gives you the opportunity to solely drive between work and home. But the best way to protect your driving privilege is to never lose your license in the first place. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can present testimony and evidence to the court that can keep you on the road.
If you or a loved is facing a license suspension, call Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group in Tampa at (813) 803-6518 for a free consultation. Their experienced attorneys can represent you in court and work to mitigate the possible consequences of your charges.